David Beatty 1st Earl Beatty
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Beatty, Sir David, later 1st Earl Beatty
Beatty, Sir David, later 1st Earl Beatty (1871–1936). Admiral. In 1914 Beatty was one of the youngest admirals in the Royal Navy, and, as commander of the battle-cruiser squadron of the Grand Fleet, held one of the navy's most prestigious appointments. He led the battle-cruisers at the Dogger Bank and Jutland, where he lost three of his ships. Beatty was a demonstrative, flamboyant, and aggressive commander, much admired by those who served under him. In December 1916 he succeeded Jellicoe as commander of the Grand Fleet. But despite his own criticisms of Jellicoe's lack of aggression at Jutland, for the rest of the war he pursued the same Fabian strategy designed to keep the German surface fleet bottled up in harbour. At the end of the war he was appointed 1st sea lord, a post he held until 1927. During this period he was responsible for the post-war reorganization of the navy and acted as a member of the British delegation which helped to draft the Washington naval treaty, an agreement which prevented the outbreak of a naval arms race between Britain and the USA.